Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Early Morning Nutritional Rant

Could somebody please explain to my infant that 5 am is not an acceptable time to get up in the morning unless there's a plane to catch? Because he is not listening to me.

Went grocery shopping yesterday, which is not something I would usually deem exciting enough to share with you here. This trip was different because I spent an unusual amount of time reading labels. I've been hearing for awhile now that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is evil. Of course my child started a Waldorf preschool and I started going to a chiropractor in the last year so perhaps my experience is a little different...

Anyway, I decided that I'd like to try cutting out of our diets as much HFCS as possible this year. Yesterday's trip to the store was the first time I decided to read labels and try to buy alternatives. This turned out to be not so easy.

Jelly and yogurt? I get this. These are sweet things. Although I was a bit annoyed that there were few alternatives at this particular store, meaning I'll have to make regular trips to Trader Joe's from now on (not that I don't love TJs, but it's not conveniently located). But bread? And tomato soup? And salad dressing? I picked up a salad dressing that listed HFCS as the first ingredient. I'll make my own dressing from now on.

HFCS isn't just a health issue. It's also a big agra-business and big government issue; HFCS is a product whose existence depends on tariffs and subsidies. It's also an issue of "real" food; production depends on multiple chemical modifications, some of which require genetically modified enzymes. For those of you interested, here is the Wikipedia entry on HFCS.

Other articles of interest:
HFCS linked to diabetes from Science Daily
Some insight into the business of HFCS from the Gristmill
Michael Pollan talks to the Sierra Club about HFCS

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